BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse - September 2008

BBC Homepage
»Island Blogging
Western Isles

North Uist
South Uist

Argyll & Clyde Islands
Northern Isles

House Rules

From the BBC

Contact Us


Summer has long gone, although the mercury has stayed in the 60s these last number of days. The machair has now lost its carpet of flowers, the ferry comes in at 8pm with its lights on - the equinox draws nigh.

Found myself at Ness once more earlier this week, notching up my 4th visit there in about 6 weeks or so. The first one, which I reported on this blog, was for the purposes of gathering pictures of wargraves in both cemeteries at Habost.
During the following two, I was showing overseas visitors round, who were most impressed with the coastal scenery north and west of Eoropie.

A debate has been raging about schools in recent times. Rural Lewis has several primary schools, to which is attached a two-year extension of secondary education. Examples of such schools can be found at Shawbost and Lionel. It means that the youngsters don't have to travel all the way into Stornoway (18 and 25 miles away respectively). Of course, it does have a cost implication. Apart from that, there is also a policy from the Scottish Government which would appear to preclude S1/S2 education anywhere but at the Nicolson Institute here in Stornoway.

Western Isles council are unable to agree whether to shut the S1/S2-schools outside Stornoway, sometimes changing their minds within an evening's debate. I am getting a bit dizzy watching the pendulum swing from 'going to close' to 'keeping them open', not to mention all the bluster that comes with that.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 11:12

SS Empire Light

SS Empire Light was sunk in 1941 in the Indian Ocean by the armed German raider Pinguin. Survivors of the encounter were picked up by the German vessel, which itself was then attacked by HMS Cornwall. The Pinguin was sunk, taking the survivors from the Empire Light to the bottom with her.

Twenty-six of the Empire Light's crew perished on 8 May 1941, six of whom came from Lewis. Their names are:

Norman MacIver, 37 Vatisker
Murdo MacDonald, 32 Gress
Donald Graham, Garrabost
Murdo Campbell, 5 Sheshader (also quoted at 42 Inaclete Road, Stornoway)
Norman Malcolm Montgomery, 17 Sheshader
George Campbell, 5 Portnaguran

A visit to the Eye cemetery reveals that this was not just an island tragedy, it was a family tragedy as well. Norman Malcolm Montgomery of 17 Sheshader was related to Murdo Campbell of 5 Sheshader. Norman's mother, Isabella Montgomery nee Macleod, died 6 months after the sinking of the Empire Light. Her husband Norman was lost in the sinking of HMY Iolaire on 1 January 1919, one of the 205 drowned in that disaster.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 12:17

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy